Posts Tagged 'Soup'

Golden Winter Soup

This is one of my all-time favorite soup recipes.  I have been making it ever since it was on the cover of Cooking Light Magazine, in January of 2008.  I look forward to making this soup every Fall & Winter when the weather gets colder and butternut squash is in season–in fact, I’ve already made this 3 times this Fall!  One of the great things about this recipe is that it has only a few ingredients and it’s super easy to make.  The addition of potato makes this soup extra smooth and creamy, and the leeks provide a lot of flavor.

Simply garnished with some freshly cracked black pepper and chives, this soup makes an excellent first course for dinner (I served it most recently for Thanksgiving).  Or, for a complete meal, you can serve it with a salad and crusty bread, dinner rolls, or homemade croutons.  It can also be made a day ahead – just store it overnight in the refrigerator and reheat it over low heat.

Golden Winter Soup


  • 2  tablespoons  butter
  • 5  cups  (½-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 ½ pounds)
  • 2  cups  (½-inch) cubed peeled russet potato (about 12 ounces)
  • 1  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 2  cups  sliced leek (about 2 medium)
  • 4  cups  fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1  cup  half-and-half (optional- half-and-half can be omitted — see note below**)
  • 3  tablespoons  chopped chives
  • Freshly ground black pepper (optional)


  1. Melt the butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat.  Add the squash, potato, salt, and pepper to the pan; sauté 3 minutes.  Add the leeks; sauté 1 minute.  Stir in the chicken broth; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until the potato is tender, stirring occasionally.
  2. Using an immersion blender, puree the soup until smooth.  Or you can use a blender: Place half of the potato mixture in a blender.  Remove center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender.  Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters).  Blend until smooth.  Pour into a large bowl.  Repeat procedure with remaining potato mixture.
  3. Stir in half-and-half, if desired. Cover and keep warm.  Ladle 1 cup of soup into each of 8 bowls; top each serving with about 1 teaspoon chives.  Garnish with freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

Serves: 8 (serving size is 1 cup)

**Note: When I make this I omit the cream, as I prefer soups without cream.  I have tried it with the half & half though and it is delicious both ways!

Source: slightly adapted from Cooking Light


Winter Squash Soup

Butternut squash is one of my favorite Fall ingredients.  There are so many ways to cook with it!  My favorite way to prepare it is to make soup.  Over the years, I’ve tried several different butternut squash soup recipes.  They have all turned out good, but some have definitely been better than others.  This was definitely one of the better ones, both because of the taste and ease of preparation.  The flavor is spot on, and this soup can be made in less than 45 minutes.  It’s great served as a first course, but alongside some crusty bread, croutons, or a salad, it can be a complete meal.  It also keeps very well in the fridge and makes excellent leftovers.  (I’m not normally a huge fan of leftovers, but I ate this soup 3 days in a row!)  The addition of canned pumpkin puree makes the soup very smooth and creamy.  The recipe calls for half-and-half, but I omitted it because it tasted great without it.  Enjoy!

Winter Squash Soup


  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon good olive oil
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 1 (15-ounce) can pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 1 ½ pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup half-and-half (optional)
  • Grated Gruyere cheese or croutons for serving (optional)


  1. Heat the butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed stockpot (such as a Dutch oven), add the onions, and cook over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, or until translucent.
  2. Add the pumpkin puree, butternut squash, chicken broth, salt, and pepper.  Cover and simmer over medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, until the butternut squash is very tender.
  3. Process the mixture until smooth, using either an immersion blender or a food processor.  Return to the pot, add the half-and-half (if using), and heat slowly.  If the soup needs more flavor, add another teaspoon of salt.  Serve hot with garnishes (such as grated gruyere or croutons), if desired.

Serves: 4 as a main course, or 6-8 as a first course

Source: adapted from Barefoot in Paris Cookbook, by Ina Garten (Pg. 81)

Looking for other delicious soup recipes? Try these:

Carrot Ginger Soup

Carrot Ginger Soup

There are many reasons why I like soup.  It’s easy to make, healthy, delicious, and it is great as a main course, appetizer, or side dish.  It is also convenient because it can be made ahead and reheats very well.  There are so many different kinds of soup – the possibilities and flavors are endless!

This past winter was so cold and rainy that I found myself wanting to make soup more often than normal.  There is nothing better on a chilly night than a hot pot of homemade soup simmering away on the stove.  The idea for this soup came from my sister, when she made Carrot Ginger Soup for a family gathering.  I decided to make this soup on the spur of the moment one evening, and I wasn’t able to get her recipe on such short notice, so I had to find my own.  I did a quick search on the Food Network’s website and found this recipe from Emeril Lagasse.  It was the first recipe that popped up in the search results, and the reviews looked good, so I decided to go with it, and I’m glad I did.  The soup was delicious!

The garlic, onions, and ginger give the soup a lot of flavor, and the pepper adds a spicy kick to it.  I used less ginger than the recipe recommended because I didn’t want the ginger flavor to be too overpowering, and I thought it was the perfect amount.  Feel free to adjust the amount of ginger to your liking.  In fact, if you don’t like ginger at all, you can just leave it out altogether, and then you would have a great recipe for Carrot Soup.  I also omitted the cream, because I prefer soups without cream, but you can add the recommended half a cup of cream if you want.  I served this soup as a main course, but I think it would be really fun to serve it in little ramekins or teacups as an appetizer.  Enjoy!

Adapted from: The Food Network, Emeril Lagasse

Carrot Ginger Soup

(print recipe)


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup diced onions
  • ½  cup diced celery
  • ¼  cup minced ginger (I only used 2 tablespoons of ginger)
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • ½  pound carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 4 to 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground white pepper ( I used black pepper because I didn’t have white pepper)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ½  cup heavy cream or half & half (if desired)
  • ¼ cup sour cream (optional)
  • Chopped chives, for garnish


  1. Set a 4-quart stock pot or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the butter and olive oil to the pot. Once the butter is melted, place the onions and celery in the pot. Sweat the vegetables until the onions are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add the ginger and garlic to the pot and cook for 30 seconds. Place all of the carrots in the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are lightly caramelized and start to soften, about 7 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add the stock, salt, pepper and bay leaf to the pot and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook the soup until the carrots are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
  3. Remove the bay leaf from the pot and using an immersion blender puree the soup directly in the pot or in batches in a blender. Adjust the seasoning, and add the heavy cream (if using) to the pot.
  4. To serve, garnish with 1 tablespoon of sour cream (optional) per serving and a sprinkling of fresh chives.

Serves: 4 as a main course or 8 as an appetizer

Garlic, onion, and ginger add a lot of flavor to this soup.


Last year I made homemade croutons for the first time, and ever since then I have been hooked.  They are super easy to make and so much better than store bought ones.  I love to put them in soup, but they would be great for salads as well.

When I make these croutons for soup, I like to use herbs that complement the type of soup I am making. 

Some examples:

–          Butternut squash soup: sage

–          Minestrone soup: Italian seasoning, or any Italian herb

–          Broccoli soup: thyme

Adapted from: Real Simple



  • 1 white or wheat baguette, sliced into ½-1 inch cubes
  • 1-2 large clove garlic, minced (about 2 teaspoons)
  • 1-2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh (or dried) herbs
  • 3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • cracked pepper
  • 2-3 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Toss all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl to coat. Spread the bread evenly on a baking sheet lined with parchment and toast in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until crisp and golden brown.

Broccoli Leek Soup topped with thyme-flavored croutons

Winter Minestrone Soup

Soup is one of my favorite things to make, especially on a cold day.  I love minestrone soup because it’s easy to make, healthy, and delicious.  I found this recipe on the Food Network’s website, and immediately knew after reading it that it would be a keeper.  And I was right- it really did live up to my expectations, and my husband said it was one of the best minestrone soups he’s had.

The pancetta gives the soup lots of flavor, and the vegetables make it healthy.  The nice thing about minestrone is that you can add whatever vegetables you have on hand.  I had planned on adding zucchini to the mix, but forgot to get it at the store, so I left it out.

This recipe is different than other minestrone soup recipes I have made because before adding the cannellini beans to the soup pot, they are pureed with broth.  This gives the soup a wonderful creamy texture.  My mini food processor worked great for pureeing the beans & broth, but you can also use a regular food processor or a blender.

Adapted from: Giada De Laurentiis


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, peeled, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • ¼ pound thinly sliced pancetta, coarsely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup basil, chopped roughly
  • 1 russet potato, peeled, cubed (small cubes)
  • 1 (14 1/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 fresh rosemary sprig or 2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp. thyme
  • 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained & rinsed
  • ½ can kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans low-sodium chicken broth
  • ½ cup small shaped pasta (mini shells work well)
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
  • Salt and pepper


Heat the oil in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, pancetta, and garlic.  Sauté until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the potato; sauté for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, basil, thyme and rosemary. Simmer until the tomatoes break down, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, blend 3/4 cup of the cannellini beans with 1/4 cup of the broth in a processor until almost smooth. Add the pureed bean mixture, remaining broth, and Parmesan cheese to the vegetable mixture. Simmer until the potato pieces are tender, stirring occasionally (about 15 minutes).

After the soup has been simmering for about 5 minutes, add the dried pasta and stir to mix.  Continue to let the pasta and potato cook for another 10 minutes or until the potato is tender and the pasta is almost fully cooked.  Then stir in the rest of the cannellini beans, kidney beans, and parsley. Simmer until the beans are heated through, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Discard the rosemary sprig, if fresh rosemary was used (the leaves will have fallen off of the stem.)

Ladle the soup into bowls and serve.  Top with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.

Serves: 4-6

Winter Minestrone Soup

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